Well, although I talked about how to write very short (eg: 500-1200 words) cyberpunk fiction yesterday, I thought that I’d take a brief look at how to write this type of cyberpunk fiction quickly.
So, here are a few tips for writing quickly and/or coming up with story ideas.
1) Find an inspiration: One of the easiest ways to write a story is if that story is inspired by something. But, since you can’t directly copy anything else, then it may be worth searching for a general type of media (or, better, two of them), a general narrative style or a theme that you can loosely base your cyberpunk story on. Remember, you are only using this as a jumping off point for your own ideas – you shouldn’t directly copy things from other stories, films etc…
For example, this short story of mine is inspired by both horror games and old 1980s horror comedy films. Likewise, this short story is inspired by shows about computer games (both modern ones from Youtube and old ones from TV).
Neither of these stories copies any one specific thing but, by finding an inspiration, I was able to come up with ideas significantly quicker.
2) Shared universe: One easy way to write cyberpunk stories quickly is to set multiple stories in the same fictional universe. Yes, ideally, each story should work as a stand-alone piece too but, if you need to produce a lot of cyberpunk stories in a relatively short amount of time (eg: 1-2 weeks), then having a shared universe can cut down the amount of thinking time required for each story.
The only problem here is that you’ve got to be careful not to contradict yourself too much. For example, in the story I linked to earlier, I had to include a brief line about “pre-load permission” (yes, it was something I made up on the spot) for the simple reason that the rest of the story contradicted some parts of the previous story which implied that the city the stories are set in only had limited internet bandwidth due to one site hogging most of the internet.
But, if contradicting yourself or slightly breaking the “rules” of your fictional “world” allows you to actually write a story, then that comes first. It is, after all, artistic licence.
3) Variety: One of the best ways to write a collection of cyberpunk stories relatively quickly is, whilst keeping them within the same fictional “world”, to alter the genre of each story depending on what you feel inspired to write at the moment.
I wrote about this in more detail a few days ago, but the easiest way to add stuff from other genres to the cyberpunk genre is just to show your characters using a virtual reality program that just happens to include the genre that you’re writing in.
For example, this short story was written when I felt like writing something about the fantasy genre. Yes, it ended up turning into satire, but I was able to include fantasy elements in it quickly and easily by having the characters be avid gamers who play a lot of virtual reality fantasy games.
4) Perspective: Some people write faster when using a third-person perspective and some people (like me) write faster when using a first-person perspective. Just choose the perspective that works best for you and use it in your story or stories.
If you don’t know which perspective works best for you, then it’s probably best to go for the first-person perspective. The main advantage of this is that you can use a nameless/generic narrator (which can save you time thinking of a detailed main character). Likewise, by only telling your story from the perspective of one character, it forces you to focus on the important events of the story too.
Anyway, I hope this was useful 🙂